Find Courage and Go For It!

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 23, 2009

How Did You Do That! is that book—that book you’ve been looking for that could inspire you to change your own life. In this collection of amazing true stories you’ll find the courage to finally go for it and do that thing you’ve been yearning to do.”

Foreword by Mark Victor Hansen

There is power in true stories of accomplishment. When you learn how someone overcame a challenge that you too are struggling to overcome, it sets you free.

I am a co-author in a new book filled with powerful stories about achievement of heartfelt desires and the courage that overcame incredible obstacles. Stories like mine. I want to tell you about this book today, for two reasons.

First, it’s a great book sure to inspire you! But also because I am very excited to be a part of this book, and I want to ask you to support our book launch today.

How Did You Do That! features International Best Selling Authors such as Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup series, Barbara DeAngelis, Chris Howard and Brendan Burchard, and 30 other folks just like you …

Here are just a few of these inspiring and powerful true stories.

  1. Living Full Out

Diagnosed with degenerative eye disease at only 16 years of age, Nancy Solari went on to achieve her dreams as a singer and performer. She attended college, enjoyed an internship with Good Morning America, and worked at Entertainment Tonight. Although Nancy is legally blind, she lives full out – hiking, rollerblading, bicycling, bowling — she even shoots pool!

How did Nancy do it? She achieved her goals and life dreams because she refused to accept anything that would limit her. Obstacles most people would find daunting, she was able to use as inspiration. Nancy’s story will inspire you and fortify your courage, so that you don’t adjust to disabilities or fears by downgrading your dreams – instead, follow her lead and live full out!

  1. Cocooning My Way to “Live! On Oprah”

When Maritza Parra’s life hit bottom and she faced her greatest personal tragedy, she never imagined her self-invented coping method would lead her to being interviewed by Oprah on live radio. Maritza’s cocooning process took her from lying curled up in the fetal position to amazing success beyond her imagination in only two years.

Are you wondering what in the world a “cocooning” process is? As you read how Maritza developed her unusual process, you will learn how to create your cocooning process – a process that nurtures you while also encouraging forward motion no matter how traumatized you might feel. With Maritza’s tools for transforming your life, you can move from your own carefully designed cocoon into the world of your dreams, feeling empowered to spread your wings and take flight.

  1. Slum Lord Queen to Safe Homes Angel

Bonnie Laslo offers a delightfully surprising cooperative business model. She could have been content making her fortune as a property manager and real estate investor, but instead Bonnie created a unique approach to become what she calls a Home Guardian. She works cooperatively with her tenants in impoverished neighborhoods to transform the community and improve their lives in every dimension. Her management team educates their tenants about basic – but important – financial skills, such as how to open checking accounts and create resumes. You will be amazed how Bonnie found a cooperative way to resolve issues with neighborhood criminals so tenants are safer.

Bonnie has applied this principle to many businesses, and believes this approach of building cooperation with her consumers is the primary reason her business is recession proof. Bonnie’s story shows how you can create an innovative approach in any industry, making your business cooperative with your consumers. The rewards are far beyond monetary.

There are many more stories like these. Stories of humble beginnings and heroic endings, but they are also stories of “how” — how they did it, and how you can do it, too.

When all you know is the beginning and ending of a success story

getting your own “happy ending” can seem like a fairy tale.

But when you know how they did it

the story becomes real—and so does your dream.

I am proud to be a co-author of this powerfully inspiring book, and excited to bring you a great special offer. There is a wonderful assortment of empowering tools and priceless wisdom from leading experts to support you on your personal journey to achieve your dreams. All completely FREE when you buy just one copy of the book today. Go here to check it out:

If you are facing any hurdle in life, you will discover at least one person whose story will provide the answer and inspiration you need to clear that hurdle from your life. To achieve the kind of success these authors tell you about.

Then, very soon, people will ask you …


Thanks so much for your support today!

50 Ways to Kill a Perfectly Good Seminar

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 20, 2009

If you agree to speak at enough seminars, or attempt to start one and promote it yourself, the day will come when a seminar you are a part of fails completely and you’ve lost any investment you put into the event. You arrive and simply no one is there to fill the room.

Since the first paid workshop I conducted in 2003 with just 9 people in attendance (a sold-out room by the way) in November 2003, I can remember only once since did I “cancel” a workshop. And, I vowed to never let it happen again.

This past weekend, I flew to the destination where I was invited to speak and even planned an extended stay with relatives. 18 hours before the event would begin, I received word that the entire event had been canceled due to lack of attendees.

The economy is a contributor maybe. People claim they don’t have the money to pay for “anything” let alone a seminar. People pull the “sales pitch” card that they don’t want to pay money only to get sold to. People will find any excuse, such as “too close to Thanksgiving” in this case, in order to prolong their education of cutting-edge material.

Have you ever wondered who is truly at a loss when a seminar bottoms up? Is it the speakers? Heck no! It was only a couple hundred bucks to fly out there and two nights in a hotel. I made that back in new sales from my websites before I even checked out of the hotel!

We just go back to business as usual and do what we do best. It’s the audience, I believe, that really loses out. They’re given the opportunity to hear genuine content about what’s working now…today, and they pass it up.

We as a society have completely lost the understanding of why we should attend seminars and it’s beyond frustrating for me. In fact, it makes me feel like I’m letting people down when I can’t get through to them the importance of their attendance.

I mean, I have a client that has just crossed the $100,000 mark of sales coming in through his shopping cart website. That means actually selling product online. And, we just launched the thing in August! Don’t you think people would be interested to know that there really are people making money on the Internet and how we made it happen?

We had 99 products for that site on TOP of Google’s organic search … in three “3″ days! Wouldn’t you think people would want to know how we did that?

I’ve always had an interest in what makes successful seminars happen. I’ve run “the pit” as we used to call it, at three Brian Tracy events full of volunteers who sold $100,000 worth of back-of-the-room product in under 20 minutes! I’ve served on the planning and promotion team for two Capital Factor events here in Denver that sucked who knows how many hours of devotion over 8-month planning periods. And, I continue to promote my own 3-hour and all-day Internet training events every few months.

It seems like everyone I meet who has a shred of public speaking experience gets this idea in their minds of one day promoting a conference of their own. Instead of using this post to suggest what you should do, I would like to supply a list of things you SHOULDN’T do.

Please accept this “tongue-in-cheek” guide as 50 things to do if you really want to Kill a perfectly good seminar. Use it as a guide when promoting your own seminar or as a checklist for meeting planners to consider before YOU accept the invitation to accept a speaking gig, meaning, if they’re doing any of these, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Or, you will soon find yourself speaking to an empty room.

  1. Don’t give enough time to promote
  2. Pick speakers who have a reputation for not promoting to their lists
  3. Encourage speakers to not talk with the other speakers during the pre-conference promotion
  4. Don’t have conference calls with potential attendees prior to the event
  5. Pick speakers that do not have a presence on social networks
  6. Do not replace a speaker that does not put a banner on their website to promote the event
  7. Do not offer bonuses of any kind when someone buys a ticket
  8. Don’t have an opt-in screen on the site. Just drive people right to the “Buy Now” button
  9. Don’t send any emails to the list you’ve attracted, even if you do have an opt-in field on your website
  10. Don’t have a blog for the event as people will certainly not want to know of your event building progress
  11. Announce on your site that networking breaks between speakers will be short
  12. Allow 60 minutes or less for each speaker and make it obvious to people that’s all they’ll get with each
  13. Choose a low-class cheap hotel in a bad neighborhood
  14. Make your price bigger than anyone else charges…”your” seminar is worth it after all.
  15. Don’t have a promotion team–you can do it all yourself anyway and keep all the dough
  16. Don’t offer the participating speakers 50% of the ticket price as referral incentive
  17. Rely solely on your speaker lineup to promote the event; surely they’ll send emails every day to their big lists
  18. Bank the success or failure of the event on 2 or 3 large groups coming together to fill your room at the last minute
  19. Promote to people who already know your product well, maybe even better than you!
  20. Don’t have a headliner who is a recognized industry leader
  21. Don’t have a celebrity speaker
  22. Don’t use the successes of your speakers in promotions; only feature their topic agendas
  23. Never tell a speaker to promote to their list; they’ll take it upon themselves to do it anyway
  24. Never join the email lists of your speakers to make sure they are promoting the event and call them on it when they don’t
  25. Pick an area of the country that has heavy hitters and frequent appearances from them in their own back yard
  26. Pick a date on the day of a major sporting event
  27. Pick a day that has a seminar just like yours but bigger on the same day or two weeks before or after
  28. Pick a date five days before or after a major holiday
  29. Don’t make your event sound critical or vitally important to attend
  30. Don’t provide sales copy for your speakers to use in their promotion efforts
  31. Avoid sending mailings to all businesses in a five square mile radius of the event
  32. And, certainly never follow-up those mailings with a cold call
  33. Do not alert all local meet-ups (at that the event will happen
  34. Never offer a giveaway as a taste of what attendees will get
  35. Try to promote a big event when you haven’t successfully promoted a small one yet
  36. Don’t attend potential feeder association events to alert members that your seminar is coming up
  37. Make it obvious that you are really doing a “sell-i-nar” instead of a seminar; people never want to really learn anything but they love being sold to!
  38. Don’t offer an early bird price, because your seminar is so special people will be beating the door down to attend
  39. Don’t have a conference call so that speakers can introduce themselves to the other speakers and the team as this would only make them more part of a team working together
  40. Do not persuade speakers to interview each other and do crazy things like conduct tele-seminars with each other because that would be exposing them to each other’s clients and list
  41. Do not seek volunteers (like local Toastmasters members) to help at the event; they never tell anyone they’re helping at a seminar when they get the opportunity
  42. Do not have a tested method for taking online orders and orders by phone; they’ll always send you an email if there’s a problem
  43. Do not worry about having an affiliate program for affiliate marketers to promote your seminar
  44. Do not have a path and process to instruct paid attendees that they can now start recommending your seminar to others and get paid commission on the sales
  45. DO have a very scary photo on your website and never test a different photo; no one looks at them anyway
  46. Never track visitation statistics for your seminar website; you won’t have time with all those orders rolling in
  47. Don’t plan for how many visitors to the site you will need in order to get the amount of attendees you want
  48. Avoid those long sales letters for your event website; no one really buys from them anyway
  49. Definitely don’t use testimonials as no one reads them or watches them
  50. And above all, do NOT have a project manager on your team that relentlessly gets a ton of work accomplished quickly without whining about it; “get-it-dunners” are over rated

What else can you think of that will kill a perfectly good seminar? List your comments here and we’ll have a complete list!

Hopefully you know I’ve written these totally tongue-in-cheek. Turn each phrase around to the positive and you will have a recipe for success EVERY time you launch a workshop or seminar promotion.

Most importantly, though, it is always my intent to inspire others to attend seminars whenever they get the opportunity. Attend at least 4 conferences or seminars per year that are directly tied to your industry so that you remain on the cutting edge of what’s happening.

I make sure to spend an average of $20,000 a year just on furthering my own education and networking efforts by attending seminars and conferences around the country. That means actually BUYING…yes BUYING…what speakers sell from the stage. Attending a seminar is really just about being introduced to speakers so that you pick the ones you like and want to get to know more. You buy their stuff and learn more about the strategies that work for them.

But, when you decide one day to assemble your own seminar full of speakers, that’s a whole different game. My hope is that you will use this list in your seminar promoting efforts. After all, I don’t want to hear that you are responsible for killing a perfectly good seminar!

New FTC Regulations Take Effect December 1 for Affiliate Marketers

Posted by Marty Dickinson on Nov 8, 2009

I can’t say it better myself than this article about how the
new FTC regulation will impact affiliate marketers everywhere. If you’ve heard about the changes but they just didn’t make sense to you, check it out.

Personally, I believe the FTC will go after the heavyweights making false claims. But, then, the other part of me figures they will go after some small time affiliate marketer and fine them like $50K just to make an example out of them.

Although it sucks, hey, this is America. And, the FTC staff are not marketers. They’re made up of salaried employees who HATE the fact that entrepreneurs make money by referring valuable products to others. Next, they’ll have door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales people giving their prospects a written disclosure of how much commission they will make on the sale before the sale is made.

I don’t know about you, but my dad taught me to never ask someone how much money they made for a living. And, therefore, I don’t talk about it myself. I mean, who cares? Why would it be important for people to know that you’re getting a commission payment for a referral?

And, why would anyone be against that? I mean, I have gone through days and sometimes months of evaluation and use of a product before recommending it to clients for use in their own business. Isn’t that time worth something? Don’t I deserve some sort of compensation if I’m going to save someone a thousand dollars next month?

The FTC doesn’t think so apparently.

My answer to this thing that so many are talking about that “will take down affiliate marketing as we know it” is simple.

1. Go ahead and post your earnings or whatever makes you comfortable that you are meeting FTC requirements.

2. Offer something in addition when someone buys the product through your affiliate link. I’ve been doing this for years. When someone subscribes to where I get a commission every month or to for managing your newsletters and eblasts, I give a free document featuring a page full of tactics and strategies to use that not even those companies will tell you about.

3. Use the products yourself so that your referrals are genuine.

I find it interesting too that the FTC is targeting “bloggers.” Anyone that’s anyone online these days know that blogs are websites and websites can certainly be blogs. My main company at has produced dozens of new or re-designed websites for clients that look like “websites” but use blog software.

So, are the “blogs” or “websites?”

Will the FTC come after them just because they have blogs attached? According to the regulations, it appears they don’t care about main websites…just blogs. So, fine, disguise your blog as a website and enjoy the CMS benefit of your blog software and you’re safe.

I dunno, I just think the FTC has gone too far with this one. But, fine, I will conform but will beat them at their own game by making MORE affiliate recommendations and offering more bonus tips and getting even more affiliate sales as a result.

That oughta really get ‘em going!